Mud (vocals/guitar), Lee (guitar/vocals), Peter (drums/vocals) and Andy (bass) are Soviet Films. Their album Cetacean contains six songs and for the most part has two modes. The first mode contains reverb-laced clean guitar, atmosphere and light percussion while the other is intense distorted rocking.
The first mode is displayed on the opener “The Flow.” This song has a distinct post-rock vibe that can’t be confused with anything else. I was surprised by how much of a 180 “Kraken” felt like in comparison. The song veers towards hard rock rather than post-rock also including multiple vocal lines. I really enjoyed what the lead singer brought to the table on this song. He has a unique texture to his voice and nails the delivery. As the song progresses it gets pretty intense with layers of sound.
Up next is “Barrow, AK.” The first half of the song permeates in post-rock territory but I also was starting to notice a bit of resemblance to the band Tool. There is a distinct change just a little after the three-minute mark. Not only is there distortion and palm muted guitar but you also get some blood curdling vocals.
“Brace Position” is a pretty crazy ride where you don’t get a second to breathe. There are multiple intersecting vocal lines with a myriad of changes. “Loomings” is arguably the highlight. There are some dynamic parts from straight up metal to sections that are mostly atmosphere created by their guitars. The song starts with gorgeous intersecting guitar melodies, metronome like tapping and the bass finds the foundation which eventually gets trampled by the bands more aggressive side. As I mentioned before the band for the most part goes between intensity and atmosphere and that's something you see displayed here. That being said the band does find unique spaces in between on this song in particular.
They close with “The Ebb” which is more or less an extension of the first song. Actually, I think that's the minor gripe I have with this album. The first and last song didn’t feel very indicative of what else was on the album. I say that because the four songs in between was where the bands essence emerges.
Overall, Cetacean has some impressive, dynamic songs which even at their relatively long time length fit a lot in. Recommended.
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